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SWON News: The Low Down

Ask the Concrete Questions at SWON's Membership Meeting

Tuesday, November 24, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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SWON's 3D printer is about to be loaned out for its 20th time this year. Considering it's out for two weeks at a time, we're very happy that it's spent so much of 2015 on the road.

I've gotten to deliver the printer and train those who will use it a lot of those times, and I've seen some things. I've had the extruder nozzle clog half-way through a demonstration. (There's not much to show when no plastic's coming out.) I've had calibrations that didn't calibrate. I've fused a broken plastic piece with acetone so we could 3D-print a replacement part. That's useful knowledge, and I pass it along when I'm out.

There are other questions I can't directly answer. How have local kids responded to seeing a 3D printer in action? What patrons have asked for specific models to be printed, and what were those models? What toys were printed, and what practical uses did people find for the printer?

Librarians have asked me those questions too, and it's reasonable to have concrete questions. A lot of the answers aren't yet concrete. That's common in the early roll-out of a new project. At almost every library I've taken our 3D printer to, someone's told me this their first time to see one. They're excited to see how it works and imagine how they might use it. That excitement and interest is worth exploring.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber

Nathan here. This is my last weekly email for SWON. I'm moving on to work more closely with the public. It's been great to work with you all these last four years. With all the energy and commitment I've seen in you, I know libraries have a bright future.

Thanks,
Nathan

Ask the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Today is the last day to register for SWON's Membership Meeting next Tuesday, December 1st. There, you'll hear about a number of initiatives that PLCH has in progress. Kim Fender and Greg Edwards have lots to share, and you'll have the opportunity to ask your concrete questions.

When I was recently at their downtown makerspace, talking with staff, I was impressed to hear that the entire circuit of tech gets lots of use. The sewing machines are the hub of an active club of quilters. The large-format printer is constantly booked. The digital SLR cameras get frequent use with the green screen and the light box, which is great for making product pictures for Etsy.

We hope you'll join us with your questions and with stories of your own experiences.


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